At one point during last Saturday’s game against Kansas, there were 41,894 fans in Amon G. Carter Stadium, but by the fourth quarter with TCU up by a touchdown, the stands were mostly abandoned.
On Wednesday, TCU head football coach Gary Patterson chided fans.
“So what they need to understand is, if we want to move forward as a program, as a university, as a football program and get where we want to get to…we all have to do our part,” he said.
The heat, an early kickoff and the perception of a weak opponent in Kansas all contributed to the low turnout and early departures, but Patterson said when fans fill the stadium despite those factors, it helps the program.
Fan support it is crucial when it comes to recruiting, he said. When the stands are empty, prospects notice. The highly rated recruits want to play in front of packed stadiums, and if fans hope to bring in that kind of talent, Patterson said they need to realize that they have a role to play in the process by filling the seats.
Where the program wants to accomplish is winning a Big 12 title and one day a national championship, and achieving that means bringing in great players. If fans want to see the Frogs do those things, they can help make it happen by coming to the games and staying until the end, Patterson said.
“You want to say we’re not any good? Just understand that at some point in time, to build a championship, everybody goes through down times,” he said.
Regardless of fan attendance, Patterson said his approach is always the same.
“I want to coach whether one person shows up,” he said. “You’ve got to remember, I started in 1998 when it was 16,000 [fans in the stadium]. I’m not coaching any harder now than I did when it was 16,000. And that was a loud 16,000. Everybody’s got to know that they’ve got a role in this program if we want to move forward.”